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NLP resources from Uni. of Edinburgh

Machine Learning for Natural Language Processing (ML-for-NLP)

This reading group focuses on Machine Learning techniques that may be applied to the field of Natural Language Processing. Participants are encouraged to suggest topics, papers, or tutorials (which need not involve any current application in NLP) by adding them to the lists below. Suggesting a paper does not constitute any sort of commitment to presenting that paper.
Meetings are approximately every week on Thursdays. Meetings will be in 4.02 at 3pm unless otherwise stated.
Announcements for this group will be made by email, and it is possible to sign up to the mailing list here.


  • No news, is good news

Tools for Research. Meeting notes

Unix Tools
The screen command. Cheatsheet, John's screen resources (John says: Note that the screen configuration files are named .screenrc and .screenrc.gen, and so you have to explicitly look for dotfiles to see them. The and scripts are pretty specific to my directory arrangement and may need tweaking for others' setups.)
Unix for Poets by Ken Church is a nice guide to using the unix tool set: tr,grep,sort,uniq,wc,rev,sed,awk,shuf,cat,tac,tail,cut,paste,etc.
Basic stuff but super useful
LaTeX & PDFs & Bibliography Management
JabRef - bibliography management
Okular - pdf highlighting
Research organization
Large-Scale Computation
Machine learning & Coding libraries



Paper Recommendations

Please add papers you consider appropriate for ML-for-NLP. Please also add thematic categories that are not covered.
Statistical Significance Testing
Loss Minimization
Bayesian Methods
Topic Models
Sampling Methods
Dynamical Systems
Information Theory
Variational Methods
Probabilistic Generative Models
Graphical Models
Deep learning and Energy Based Models
Language Modeling

Other Reading Groups

Useful Links

Previous meetings

Past meetings

3pm, Thursday 6th September, room 1.16 (Planning Meeting)

  • Discuss ideas for topics to be presented
  • Discuss whether or not you are happy for our meetings to become more exercise-based

3pm, Thursday 13th September, Room 3.02 (Information Theory Primer)

3pm, Thursday 20th September, Room 4.02 (Information Theory MacKay )

  • Chapter 2 of MacKay (pages 34-48 of the pdf, pages 22 -- 36 of the book), and focus on solutions:
    • Generation and inference:
      • Exercise 2.4
      • Exercise 2.5
      • Example 2.6

3pm, Thursday 27th September, room 4.02 (Information Theory MacKay )

  • Chapter 2 of MacKay (pages 34-48 of the pdf, pages 22 -- 36 of the book), and focus on solutions:
    • Bayesian predictive distribution:
      • Exercise 2.8
    • Jensen's inequality (important for all versions of EM):
      • Exercise 2.14
      • Example 2.15

3pm, Thursday 4th October, room 4.02 (Hypothesis Testing)

3pm, Thursday 18th October, room 4.02 (Variational EM)

bkj-VBwalkthrough.pdf: Variational EM

Meetings in 2011


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